Former Giant, Buxton Ready for 2024

by Giants Insider

Courtesy of Kevin Barral, Fish on First (

Marlins pitching prospect Ike Buxton was one of the best performers in Miami's farm system in 2023 as he climbed across three levels and competed in the Arizona Fall League. Buxton spoke to the media on Thursday recapping his past season as well as looking ahead to 2024.

Right-handed pitcher Ike Buxton began 2023 way under the radar, but made a name for himself by succeeding in a starting role and reaching the Double-A level. Buxton posted a 2.45 ERA, 8.5 K/9, 5.0 BB/9 in 77.0 innings pitched in the Marlins minor league system, making the most impact with Low-A Jupiter (1.62 ERA in 39.0 IP).

"My mindset throughout the whole year was, 'What can I do to get to the next level?'" said Buxton when reflecting on 2023. "I think a lot of people focus on, 'Okay, I need to be a big leaguer,' and obviously, I think a lot of people want to have that attitude and it's not a bad attitude to have, but I think throughout the year my big focal point was, 'What can I do to get to the next level?' and that's going to change from Jupiter, especially being an older guy. My main focus was just being consistent. They needed me to just be in the zone a little more than I traditionally have and consistent when I get to the next level, you can kind of apply it a little bit."

Buxton, along with seven other Marlins minor leaguers, went to the Arizona Fall League. In 17 ⅔ innings pitched, Buxton posted a 6.11 ERA, struck out 19 hitters and walked 10. Although the Marlins prospect didn't find too much overall success in the AFL, Buxton felt it allowed him to improve as an overall prospect.

"I was fortunate enough to have a pretty decent year and had a very enjoyable time out in Arizona," said Buxton.

All signs point to Buxton opening up his age-23 season with Double-A Pensacola, as he was at Blue Wahoos Stadium on Thursday for the team's annual Fish Fest. Before that, the 2022 draft pick will be going through his first regular Spring Training as a pro player.

"I was out for a month or two, but hit the ground a little late," said Buxton. "I was still able to catch up with everyone and make some strides in terms of just holding that routine again to stay healthy and that's going to be my big focus for this upcoming year."

The Blue Wahoos will be seeking a berth in the Southern League Championship Series for the third straight year.